None of Europe’s reigning monarchs count as poor. But all of them, from the Bourbons of Spain to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, receive a hefty public subsidy! So how do they all compare..?
- The United Kingdom is home to Europe’s richest monarchs
- Other nations giving millions to their Royals include Spain, Belgium, and Norway
Power, glamour, prominence: all qualities to which our European royal families can lay claim. Wealth, however, is a different matter: whether it’s the amount of money in the royal coffers to who provides it, each reigning monarchy is unique.
So too is access to information about their royal finances. As research conducted by The Guardian recently suggested, while some countries are highly transparent and provide detailed breakdowns of how public money is spent on individual royals, others are more opaque, with some royals supplementing an official government lump sum with other quasi-private sources of income.
As for tax – some pay it, some don’t.
Here the Mail’s new Royals section looks at who get what – and where the money comes from…
The level of state funding for European monarchies varies widely, with the British monarchy receiving the greatest public subsidy
All Europe’s monarchs receive public subsidy for their royal duties, but the totals vary greatly
The monarch receives a lump sum from the public purse known as the Sovereign Grant, which currently stands at £86.3m a year
King Charles singing the Golden Book of the City of Hamburg on his recent tour of Germany. He is probably the richest of all reigning European monarchs
Family Name: The Windsors
Monarch: King Charles III
Approximate Public funding: £86m-£127m
Probably the richest of all reigning European monarchs, the finances of the British royal family have long been the subject of controversy.
While there is no breakdown showing how much individual members of the royal family receive for their official duties, each year the monarch receives a lump sum known as the sovereign grant which currently stands at £86.3m a year.
Some of this comes from profits from incomes generated by the Royal estates, but of this the cost to the taxpayer for the royal household’s operating costs, travel and household maintenance was £51.8m.
Then there is the £40 million annual untaxed income paid to King Charles and the Prince of Wales from their two hereditary estates – the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall – money which Buckingham Palace insists is ‘private income’ but which some believe should go to the public.
From 1993, the then Queen Elizabeth II agreed to pay ‘voluntary’ income tax, although the Royal family remain exempt from inheritance tax, meaning when she died last year she passed her fortune to the king in its entirety.
Charles’s private wealth is estimated to now total £1.815billion, according to research by The Guardian newspaper, including jewels, art, property and investments he inherited tax-free from the late Queen – estimated to be worth more than £650million.
A palace source said the Queen’s fortune had passed directly ‘from monarch to monarch’ because that was the most ‘tax efficient’ way to transfer it. A decision made in 1993 means no inheritance tax is paid on assets moving from one sovereign to another.
Charles’s private wealth has been estimated at £1.815billion, including jewels, art, property and investments he inherited tax-free from the late Queen
King Charles was the sole beneficiary of his mother’s will, although will be expected to distribute gifts to his siblings
Family Name: The Borbones (or Bourbons)
Monarch: King Felipe VI
Approximate public funding: £7.4m
Marred by accusations of corruption, extramarital affairs and a precipitous fall from grace, Spain’s royal family ranks among the most beleaguered on the continent.
In 2014, King Juan Carlos I abdicated after close to 40 years in power following allegations of corruption, and while the former king was subsequently cleared of any illicit conduct, the scandal led to intense debate among Spaniards about funding for their royal figureheads.
Hoping to pour oil on these troubled waters, in 2020 Juan Carlos’ son, King Felipe VI, renounced his personal inheritance from his father and removed him from the royal family’s payroll as well as making public his own personal €2.6m (£2.28m) assets. Nonetheless, the family Bourbons will still receive €8,431,150 (£7.4m) from the state budget.
Queen Letizia of Spain and King Felipe of Spain attend a dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands
Spain’s King Felipe VI delivers a speech during an official state dinner as part of the visit of the Italian president, at the Royal Palace of Madrid
King Felipe VI of Spain and the late Queen Elizabeth at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace
King Felipe’s house and garden near the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid were built with State funds
Family Name: The Bernadottes
Monarch: King Carl XVI Gustaf
Approximate public funding: £11.5m
In 1980 the forward-thinking Swedes were the first monarchy to change their rules on primogeniture, making the King’s daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, 45, heir apparent instead of her younger brother Prince Carl Philip.
The changes did not stop there: in 2019, the King stripped five of his grandchildren of their royal titles in order to reduce the total cost of ‘appendages’ to serving royals.
Nonetheless, the Swedish royal court still continues to receive generous remuneration from the public purse: in 2021 they received a total grant of 147.9m Swedish krona (£11.5m) around half of which is designed to cover the cost of the king’s official duties, travel, staff and stables.
The Swedish royal court continues to receive generous remuneration from the public purse. In 2021 they received a total grant of 147.9m Swedish Krona, the equivalent of £11.5m
Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf at Stockholm’s Royal Palace in 2015
Family Name: Van België, de Belgique, or von Belgien (‘of Belgium’)
Monarch: King Philippe
Approximate Public Funding: £12.5m
Like his predecessors, reigning King Philippe was granted an annual allocated sum of money to cover the cost of performing official duties when he acceded to the throne in 2013, an amount which increases with the consumer prices index measure of inflation.
Last year Philippe received €12.5m (£11m) while other members of the royal family – among them Philippe’s father, King Albert II, who abdicated in 2013, and his children Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent – receive additional funding totalling around £1.5 million.
Notably, King Phillippe’s half-sister half-sister, Princess Delphine, who successfully fought a seven year legal battle to prove she was King Albert’s biological daughter, does not receive any royal funding. The payments are subject to income tax.
Last year Philippe received €12.5m (£11m) while other members of the royal family received additional funding of around £1.5 million. Pictured: King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium during the gala banquet on the Crown Prince’s 50th birthday
Like his predecessors, King Philippe has an annual grant to cover the cost of performing official duties
King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium arriving at the Imperial Palace for the Court Banquets
Family name/House: The Glücksburgs
Monarch: Margrethe II
Approximate public funding: £14m
Eighty-two year old Danish Queen Margrethe II is Europe’s longest-serving monarch, and her age has proved no impediment to change: last year she stripped her youngest son Joachim’s four children – Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena – of their royal titles in a move designed to slim down the size of the family.
Nonetheless, she still receives around 91.1m kroner a year (£10.7m) from the civil list to covers the expenses of running the royal household. Her eldest son and heir, Prince Frederik receives around £2.64m a year while his brother Joachim gets £467,045. None of the money is taxed
Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark during the gala banquet on the occasion of The Crown Prince’s 50th birthday
She still receives around 91.1m kroner a year (£10.7m) from the civil list to covers the expenses of running the royal household
Family name/House: Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg
Monarch: Grand Duke Henri
Approximate public funding: £16.9m
Luxembourg has long had a reputation for secrecy, but in recent years public anger among its 640,000 strong population over the royal finances led prime minister Xavier Bettel, to pass legislation last July providing more transparency and pegging future changes to the personal allowances of the Maison du Grand-Duc (House of the Grand Duke) to the public sector.
This year’s budget shows payments to the Maison totalling €19,257,155 (£16.9m) to cover day to day expenses and projects such as renovations.
In addition, the grand duke and his heir receive endowments for personal expenditure: in 2022, Henri received €523,103 (£460,381) and Crown Prince Guillaume received €217,985 (£191,848).
Pictured: Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
This year’s budget shows payments to the Grand Duc totalling €19,257,155 (£16.9m) to cover day-to-day expenses and renovations. Pictured: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Queen Mathilde, King Philippe of Belgium, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie
Family name/House: van Orange-Nassau
Monarch: King Willem-Alexander
Approximate public funding: £44.2m
Perhaps surprisingly, the royal family of the free-thinking Dutch are among the monarchies exempt from paying income tax – a position bolstered this year by the prime minister, Mark Rutte, who rejected opposition demands to scrap the exemption.
This year the proposed annual royal budget is E50 (£44.2m), which includes €1,035,000 (£911,162) for King Willem-Alexander, and a further €5.37m (£4.7m) to pay for his staff and other expenses.
Change may yet be afoot however: Princess Amalia, the 19-year-old heir to the throne, has waived her right to her €1.72m (£1.51m), allowance, saying it would make her feel ‘uncomfortable’ to accept it ‘until I incur high costs in my role as Princess of Orange’.
This year the proposed annual royal budget is E50 (£44.2m), which includes €1,035,000 (£911,162) for King Willem-Alexander, and a further €5.37m (£4.7m) to pay for his staff and other expenses
The royal family of the free-thinking Dutch are among the monarchies exempt from paying income tax
Princess Amalia, the 19-year-old heir to the throne, has waived her right to her €1.72m (£1.51m), allowance
Family name/House: The Glücksburgs
Monarch: King Harald V
Approximate public funding: £24m
The Norwegian royal court’s latest annual accounts show the Norwegian royal family received 312m Norwegian kroner (£24m) from the civil list last year, but it is unclear how this is distributed.
A report from 2015 states that ‘the king and queen and the crown prince and crown princess all receive an allowance’ to cover ‘the management, operation, maintenance and development of the private properties and households, as well as appropriations for private expenses and official attire’.
The Norwegian royal court’s latest annual accounts show the Norwegian royal family received 312m Norwegian Kroner (£24m) from the civil list last year
King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja of Norway attending the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s Banquet
Source: Read Full Article